• Dresses

    Psychedelic Simplicity 9936

    Hello crazy cats and kittens! I’m in a 70s frame of mind haha. It is entirely because of my new dress made from a fun 1972 vintage pattern from my stash. With my love of floaty dresses increasing in line with the temperature I decided to dive into my patterns to find something cool to make.

    Almond rock psychedelic simplicity 9936 sewing pattern in 1970s neon floral georgette

    This 70s wedding and bridesmaid pattern is a build your own dress approach. It has 3 bodice styles and 3 sleeve options plus tips for adding lace or chiffon overlays. It’s a single size pattern and I have the 38″ bust size. I think it was from a car boot sale in a big bundle of patterns.

    Almond rock psychedelic simplicity 9936 sewing pattern in 1970s neon floral georgette

    At first I chose the sweetheart bodice with long billowing sleeves… you might notice I axed the sleeves though. It was simply overwhelming in this fabric but I’ll definitely add them if I make another version.

    Almond rock psychedelic simplicity 9936 sewing pattern in 1970s neon floral georgette

    The skirt was hacked beyond recognition to make it gathered at the empire waist and with a gathered tier. The print is pretty busy so you probably can’t see the gathers. Unless you’re very eagle eyed!!

    Almond rock psychedelic simplicity 9936 sewing pattern in 1970s neon floral georgette

    My fabric is an absolutely bonkers neon orange and violet floral georgette featuring daisies and poppies. It’s not too sheer but it’s pure polyester so frays when you look at it. I would have loved to do French seams but had to get it overlocked ASAP to avoid distorting any seams.

    Almond rock psychedelic simplicity 9936 sewing pattern in 1970s neon floral georgette

    I bought the fabric from Leeds Market years ago and never got round to making it until now. It was something like £4 a metre. I’m trying to work through my stash and give some of the amazing fabrics I have a life outside my fabric boxes!! It’s pretty ridiculous how long some pieces have been in there and the recent house move made me think more about my “stock”.

    Almond rock psychedelic simplicity 9936 sewing pattern in 1970s neon floral georgette

    It’s not my favourite dress I’ve ever made but lots of positives!! It’s floaty, cool in the heat, an undeniably fun print and it was nice to use a vintage pattern AND fabric from my stash. As I like to say… “winner winner, quorn roast dinner”.

    Almond rock psychedelic simplicity 9936 sewing pattern in 1970s neon floral georgette

  • Dresses

    Mellow yellow Deer & Doe Myosotis

    Happy weekend everyone! It’s a Bank Holiday here and we’ve kicked things off by cleaning the house and prepping for guests! I bought the hugest bunch of peonies (my absolute faves) and Jimi bought a crazy amount of crisps for everyone to eat. Tonight we’re ordering Thai takeaway to enjoy in the garden. I can’t wait!

    Almondrock in Simply Fabrics sunshine yellow textured waffle cotton jacquard Myosotis dress, Deer and Doe patterns

    While we were out running errands I got some photos of my recent Deer and Doe patterns Myosotis dress by the river. I have lost my sunglasses so forgive the squinting. The ones I’m wearing in one shot are Jimi’s so are too big for my head hahah.

    Almondrock in Simply Fabrics sunshine yellow textured waffle cotton jacquard Myosotis dress, Deer and Doe patterns

    I used the most beautiful textured cotton jacquard from Simply Fabrics in the canary yellow colourway. They have other colours like blue, red and green also. It’s got flowers on a crosshatch pattern, very abstract but attractive. It’s light but not thin, similar to a double gauze weight. Perfect for this dress pattern.

    Almondrock in Simply Fabrics sunshine yellow textured waffle cotton jacquard Myosotis dress, Deer and Doe patterns

    I made view A. I used size 36 all in the upper body and 40 at the waist downwards. I only had to do a small narrow shoulder adjustment fitting wise. I liked the ruffled hem and although I enjoy wearing half stand collars like the pattern included, I went for the neckline hack (Marie’s tutorial here) which is cleaner and better for floppy soft fabric. It took exactly 2m of fabric… Great except I’d bought 3m!! So will HAVE to make a fun yellow top in the future. What a tough life I lead.

    Almondrock in Simply Fabrics sunshine yellow textured waffle cotton jacquard Myosotis dress, Deer and Doe patterns

    It’s quite a boxy style and forgiving on a hot day or after a full meal, I’m growing less interested I’m jeans cutting into my tummy right now. The colour is a scroll stopper too. It’s instant sunshine! Thankfully I had the perfect yellow vintage buttons in my stash.

    Almondrock in Simply Fabrics sunshine yellow textured waffle cotton jacquard Myosotis dress, Deer and Doe patterns

    There’s plenty of gathering to get stuck into which I don’t mind as I find it quite therapeutic even if it does waste a lot of thread. And with only three buttonholes this would be a nice project for a beginner wanting to learn more.

    Almondrock in Simply Fabrics sunshine yellow textured waffle cotton jacquard Myosotis dress, Deer and Doe patterns

    As always, I didn’t read the instructions and whipped it up very quickly as I’m a speedy sewist but you could enjoy slowly sewing this beauty if you like to take things steady.

    Almondrock in Simply Fabrics sunshine yellow textured waffle cotton jacquard Myosotis dress, Deer and Doe patterns

    This dress is flipping everywhere. I couldn’t actually believe how long ago the Myosotis was released! Thank goodness Marie egged me on to finally make it, what a smart cookie.

     

  • Tops, blouses and shirts

    Sew Over It Libby

    Sewing enthusiasm has finally returned to my sewing room. I’m bursting with ideas again! Today I’m sharing a quick make that is really a wearable toile, the Libby shirt from Sew Over It.

    Almond rock coral peachskin Sew Over It Libby shirt blouse

    I had been admiring many people’s versions of this cute cropped blouse before buying the pattern. I love notch collars and grown on sleeves so a combination of the two is glorious.

    Almond rock coral peachskin Sew Over It Libby shirt blouse

    I bought the pdf pattern and sent the copyshop file to get printed at Fabulosew as I like that they print on tissue rather than paper. I made a straight size 10 and the only alteration was to move the bust darts down a bit.

    Almond rock coral peachskin Sew Over It Libby shirt blouse

    This fabric is a thick opaque polyester peachskin I got as lining for my coral eyelet Anna dress. There was lots leftover so I’d been waiting for something to use it for. It’s probably a bit thick for the pattern but such a good colour!

    The Libby shirt gets a lot of bad press online because of the back facing/collar construction which can be considered unnecessarily complicated, when you know there are other methods that would be quicker and simpler.

    You attach the back facing to each inner curve of the collar before stitching the collar pieces RST. I’ve constructed this way before on tailored coats and jackets so I didn’t have any bother with it but can see how it would stress many sewists out. There’s a sewalong with nice clear pictures if this is your first time using this method.

    Almond rock coral peachskin Sew Over It Libby shirt blouse

    I used a set of mixed print Tilda fabric covered buttons from my stash as some had a hint of coral in them. And I chose pink, coral and orange overlocker threads to keep it pretty inside. The turned up cuffs on the sleeves are quite easy to do and only take a couple of hand stitches to hold in place.

    Almond rock coral peachskin Sew Over It Libby shirt blouse

    I don’t think the back is flattering but I like the front and will still get plenty of wear out of it. For my next version I’ll use viscose or crepe de chine for a less thick version. As you can see my love of notched collars continues.

  • Dresses

    Polka dot Nina Lee Spring Dress

    Hello Spring! And hello you lovely lot. I’m full of the joys of Spring. And I love that saying. Spring and Summer is my sewing magic timezone where I can make dresses and floaty clothes and don’t have to worry about tights anymore. With that in mind I picked up the Nina Lee Patterns Spring Dress which came with Simply Sewing mag.

    Almond rock dressmaking Nina Lee Patterns Spring Dress polka dot viscose

    Okay let’s get the elephant out of the room, yep this is the first time I’ve bought Simply Sewing as a regular consumer. I had to buy every single issue while I worked at Love Sewing to add to our library of sewing magazines. This helped us try to avoid accidentally copying each other like interviewing the same people, featuring the same fabrics and so on. Since it launched after I started at Love Sewing I never bought it just for me until now. The magazine isn’t really for me as it’s only 20% about dressmaking but I had a quick flick through out of post-professional curiosity. I miss magazine design because let’s face it, banking websites aren’t designed to be colourful or fun. The patterns were the draw. Now back to the dress…

    Almond rock dressmaking Nina Lee Patterns Spring Dress polka dot viscose

    I made two toiles of the dress because I wasn’t quite sure how much ease I’d like. The first toile made me realise the sleeves and shoulders were not going to work for my body type. I am extremely narrow shouldered with small arms so often have to do a narrow shoulder adjustment. I adjusted the paper pattern to adjust the shoulder by 1″ for the first toile but it was clear the sleeve head as drafted was very flat and I need a much higher head and the shoulder was still very wide. I use a cut and move method for narrow shoulders (tutorial) but there’s also a slash and overlap method (tutorial).

    Almond rock dressmaking Nina Lee Patterns Spring Dress polka dot viscose

    On my second toile I redrafted the armhole to use the Tilly and The Buttons Indigo dress bodice and sleeve pieces. You lay the two patterns on top of each other, matching shoulder height and copy round the Indigo armhole curve onto the Spring Dress: First for the bodice front and then for the back. Then I could use the Indigo sleeve piece when I cut out and put the Spring Dress sleeve to one side.

    Almond rock dressmaking Nina Lee Patterns Spring Dress polka dot viscose

    This polka dot viscose challis from my stash was picked up at Birmingham rag market. It’s the perfect weight for this dress as it gathers easily and is a nice breezy fabric for this style (see a video of it in motion). I think you could use a stiffer fabric for a bolder boxier effect. When I discovered a number of small holes in my fabric (not moths thank god) this moved into the wearable toile category so I stopped worrying over the print matching down the centre front. Made you look!! It’s good enough to me for a dress I’ll wear until the fabric frays further so don’t bother messaging me about it. I added some fusible interfacing behind each of the holes I saw but I bet it will keep making more when I next wash it, it just seems that delicate.

    Almond rock dressmaking Nina Lee Patterns Spring Dress polka dot viscose

    I made a size 10 in the upper bodice and 12 at the waist down to the hip. The bodice ever so slightly rides to the back now which is what happens on my Indigo where I never fixed the bodice. Again I don’t mind on this dress but really should fix it before I make any more versions. And as you can see the neckline is finished with tiny little bias binding that extends into ties but wearing it tied feels a little too twee so I leave them undone. As a last tweak, I added elastic cuffs to the sleeves but they aren’t very billowing so it’s a subtle effect. Importantly I added 3″ to the length of the skirt. Remember I’m 5ft4 so this is a short dress without that length! Chewie approves of my floaty new dress.

    Almond rock dressmaking Nina Lee Patterns Spring Dress polka dot viscose

  • Dresses

    Watercolour Papercut Patterns Adrift

    Hello everyone. This pretty spring dress is crying out to be worn! I can’t wait to take it for a stroll through Ilkley. It’s colourful and floaty and just perfect for the start of fresher weather.

    almond rock watercolour  Papercut Patterns Adrift dress with Abakhan viscoseI partnered with Abakhan for this make. They let me choose something from their new Spring/Summer collection of fabrics and I chose this stunner which has now sold out but there’s plenty more in the collection to enjoy. It was sent out the fabric for free to see what I’d make with it. 

    almond rock watercolour  Papercut Patterns Adrift dress with Abakhan viscose
    I chose the Adrift pattern which has a lovely frilled skirt. There’s a draw string waist dress or darted skirt option. You can also add frilly sleeves to the bodice but they were a bit too frilly for my liking so I adjusted to use cap sleeves. The bust darts are mostly for show. I made a size S dress bodice by laying my Mayberry dress size 12 pattern pieces on top to get a similar fit since that is also a cinched pattern with waist ties. I also used the Mayberry dress sleeves since it’s such a similar bodice and adjusted the armholes to match. Then I graded out to an XXL at the hip.

    almond rock watercolour  Papercut Patterns Adrift dress with Abakhan viscoseThe fabric has so many lovely colours in it. The reason I love viscose is that lovely drape and cool smooth feel to the fabric. It’s important to pre-wash viscose as it does shrink and use a nice sharp needle to avoid pulls. I overlocked all the edges as viscose frays a lot too. almond rock watercolour  Papercut Patterns Adrift dress with Abakhan viscoseLengthening the skirt was a real challenge. There were no clues on the pattern or the Papercut website for how to approach this. I ended adding about 3″ to the upper area of the skirt where the ruffle is relatively straight on the front, so I could then extend the frill pieces at the top rather than the middle. It was successful in the end but it may not be the right want to do it. I’m 5ft4 ish and if I had to add 3″ I wonder how indecent the length is on a taller woman!

    almond rock watercolour  Papercut Patterns Adrift dress with Abakhan viscose
    The finished dress is pretty cute and I’m sure will get lots of wear this year when life starts to return to normal. One of my friends already commented that she wants to see the fabric in real life which is lovely. And I could imagine wearing it around the Mediterranean one day too. If you pick up anything from the collection, let me know! I’d love to see what you make. You should definitely check out Rosey Sews’ gorgeous skirt in the same fabric.